Lili Mai's dreams come true in professional production of Sleeping Beauty

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A superb achievement has been made by talented young dancer – Lili Mai Dove (13) from New Southgate. Lili Mai goes to Oakwood School and is training at the Lewiston School of Dance.

In March, she was chosen to be part of the 90-strong cast of English Youth Ballet’s (EYB’s) production of Sleeping Beauty.

The cast were selected in a big audition on stage at The Wycombe Swan in March. Over 150 young dancers attended for the exciting opportunity. They took part in a full ballet class on the stage. The successful auditionees found out they had been selected on the day of the audition.

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The young cast will be rehearsing for 60 hours over 10 days of rehearsals at weekends. The rehearsals take place at a local high school.

Lili Mai Dove.Lili Mai Dove.
Lili Mai Dove.

At rehearsals, the dancers experience the working life of a professional dancer. EYB take over three large rehearsal spaces in the school that are used simultaneously. Rehearsals always start with three company classes for the dancers to warm-up. The dancers need to keep an eye on the complex rehearsal timetable throughout the day.

EYB Principal Ann Wall will be starring as Aurora in the production.

She said: “Being part of EYB is an amazing experience for any young dancer. I feel privileged to be a principal dancer with the company. I enjoy teaching and coaching all the young dancers and I see some of the most talented young dancers in the country. I feel honoured to be a role model to the dancers and help give them an insight into the world of professional ballet. Dancing with EYB is an experience that will stay with the young dancers forever.”

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Janet Lewis OBE (EYB Director), said: “English Youth Ballet’s aim is to provide performance experience to aspiring young dancers in beautiful venues close to where they live. The young dancers get to experience what life is like in a professional ballet company. They learn about developing their artistic and performance skills as well as improving their technique. I am always amazed at how quickly the young dancers progress and how positive they are when presented with new challenges.”

There will be three performances of EYB’s acclaimed ballet – Sleeping Beauty. The lavish production will star six international principal dancers and showcase the talents of 90 young dancers from the local area.

English Youth Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty production is sumptuous, promising tradition alongside innovation. The ballet’s essence is good gloriously triumphant over evil. Act 1 at Aurora’s Christening, the relatives present gifts to the baby, but it is interrupted by wicked Aunt Carabosse who places a curse upon Aurora.

To reverse the curse the good Aunt Lilac places Aurora, her family and Guests in the Palace Gardens in a cryogenic frozen state to sleep for one hundred years. The Cryonite Fairies protect her until she is awakened by her Prince. Upon his kiss, the curse is lifted and Carabosse is defeated.

Sleeping Beauty will be perfomed at the Wycombe Swan Theatre from Friday, August 9 to Saturday, August 10.

Tickets can be bought at the on 0343 310 0060 and at

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